When are Kids Ready for Sleepovers?


In the last newsletter we talked a bit about different temperaments of children. Many of our parenting decisions are partially driven by the needs and abilities of our different children.mSleepovers is a great example of this so I turn to a question I was asked about when kids are ready to spend the night with friends.

 When are Kids Ready for Sleepovers?

 Summer is a time when kids like to get together for sleepovers. One parent asked at what age is it appropriate for kids to sleep over at friends’ houses? Our children are five and seven years old and have had sleepovers before at their grandparents’ but now our oldest child is being asked by friends to come for sleepovers. I am not comfortable with this and was wondering what ages other kids are when they begin having sleepovers?


There are a number of variables to consider when it comes to sleepovers. You need to consider the relationship with the family of the friend and your child’s personality. I would think that for most kids seven might be too young.

However, if the friend lives across the street and the kids have been in and out of each other’s homes for years she may be ready. She knows the house and the parents well and is comfortable being with them. It’s also close enough for her to easily come home if the need arises.

Some kids are much more comfortable heading out on their own and will be ready to spend the night away from you at a younger age than their more hesitant siblings. Respect your child’s temperament and let her go when she’s ready.

Other considerations are about health issues; does the child need any special medication or treatment at night? A child who sleepwalks or wets her bed may be less comfortable visiting away from home. If she does have any nighttime concerns, make sure the host parents are aware of what might happen and how you generally handle it. For example, you may need to ensure that they have the outside door locked if she may take a nighttime jaunt down the street.

No matter how old your child is, make sure she knows that she can always call you if she needs to come home. Tell the host parent that it’s okay for your child to call home, even if it’s late at night.

Finally trust your instincts. If you believe it’s not a good idea for your child, it probably isn’t.

There are so many times when we are raising our kids when we note their differences.  My mini guide e-book , Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments addresses this.

I have always known that each child is a unique individual. I looked at my two who are as different as night and day. Then I consider my siblings and we are a textbook example of different.

But, now I have three grandchildren, all the same age and the differences from their births has been striking.

The result is the e-parenting mini guide, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments.  The guide is available on my website.

Bringing Parenting Today to your event. 

Parenting Today is keen to speak as part of your professional development event, parenting workshop or workplace wellness support program. I offer keynotes and workshops, have written books and have ongoing newspaper columns, books, blogs and newsletters.

And, no matter what the actual topic, they all share a basic value that I call:

P.U.R.E. Parenting.

P — is a parenting plan

U — is unconditional love

R — is respect for your child as he is right now

E — is encouragement

These make up the framework of any resources that will come from Parenting Today. These four pillars are the essential ingredients for raising healthy children who will develop into capable young men and women.


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